Tulsa Officers Receive Support In Wake Of Nation's Police Killings

Sunday, July 17th 2016, 7:42 pm
By: News On 6

In Tulsa, flags are still at half staff in honor of the five officers killed in Dallas. In light of the shootings in Baton Rouge on Sunday, they'll stay lowered.

TPD says open lines of communication are helping in Tulsa. Right here in Tulsa people feel the ripple effect of what has happened in Baton Rouge, Dallas and Minnesota. Although there's been some dark spots in Tulsa's history, people want to make sure the future is bright.

Tulsa police say the outpouring of support from all areas of the city has been overwhelming. They've gotten more support these past few weeks than they've seen in a long time.

Communication has been key.

7/17/2016 Related Story: Three Police Officers Dead, Others Injured In Baton Rouge Shooting

Ever since protests began about the shootings deaths of Baton Rouge man Alton Sterling, Minnesota's Philander Castile and the officers killed in Dallas, Oklahomans have responded.

Over the past week, ‘We the People Oklahoma’ presented a list of policy changes to Tulsa police and the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

But the president of the Fraternal Order of Police says the open line of communication has been there. The FOP and Sheriff's office have most recently been working with Senator Kevin Matthews to provide scholarships to teenagers in his summer mentoring program.

"We began relationships before all this,” Tulsa FOP’s Patrick Stephens said.

“This isn't something a knee-jerk reaction to these shootings. This is something we've been wanting to do. We're starting to see the fruits of it, and luckily because we've done all this we don't have the problems other cities have."

7/17/2016 Related Story: Obama After Baton Rouge: 'We Need To Temper Our Words And Open Our Hearts'

For weeks the community has gotten together for talks, walks and protests.

It may not snuff out the problem, but Tulsa native Bobby Eaton says it's a start.

"We have to do something that is more meaningful, that is meaty, that we can walk out feeling, 'yes, we have made an initial step toward many steps that need to come,'" Eaton said.

This week, members of Tulsa law enforcement will be on a special panel for the follow up Tulsa Talks forum.

The event is open to the public. It's set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the Greenwood Cultural Center.